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Termini Named Outstanding Professor


A Mt. Washington resident who teaches music history and musicology at Cal State Los Angeles has been named this year's outstanding professor by the California State University Board of Trustees.

Olga Termini, 59, will receive the award during a reception at the trustees meeting May 16. She also will receive $2,000.

The honor is given annually to two individuals selected from more than 20,000 faculty in the 20-campus system. Receiving the second award this year will be Donald T. Hata Jr., professor of history at the Dominguez Hills campus.

"I was not ready for this at all," said Termini, who was advising a student in her office March 14 when she was notified of the award. "In my cynical mind, I thought they wanted me to serve on another committee. I was almost literally speechless."

During her career at Cal State Los Angeles, Termini has published a number of studies of baroque music and Venetian opera, which are areas of special interest to her. She publishes about one research paper a year, said Ruth Goldway, director of public affairs for the university.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Termini emigrated to the United States in 1952. She earned three degrees from the USC School of Music. Before coming to the university to teach in 1972, Termini taught junior and senior high school students for 18 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The personal interaction with students remains the most satisfying part of the job, "especially when I can strike a little enthusiasm in the students," Termini said. She especially enjoys working with individual students on independent study projects.

Termini said she is planning to use the award money to travel to Korea for the Pacific Contemporary Music Center's annual music festival. In addition to her teaching duties, Termini is the assistant director for the center, which promotes the music of new composers.

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